Dr. Guislain Museum and Janssen Seek Nominations for 2017 Breaking the Chains of Stigma Award

Food and Healthcare Press Releases Friday March 10, 2017 09:55
GHENT, Belgium--10 Mar--PRNewswire/InfoQuest
  • Opportunity to Recognize Advocates Making a Difference for People with Mental Illness -

The Dr. Guislain Museum in Ghent, Belgium and Janssen Research & Development, LLC ("Janssen"), today announced that they are seeking nominations for the sixth annual Dr. Guislain "Breaking the Chains of Stigma" Award. The Award honors an individual, project or organization that has made a remarkable contribution to reduce stigma associated with mental illness. Nominations from people and organizations worldwide can be submitted at www.drguislainaward.org until 16 April, 2017. The Award recipient will receive a $50,000 prize to further efforts that reduce societal stigma associated with mental illness.


"We know that people are often reluctant to seek help for mental illness due to the societal stigma," said Brother Rene Stockman, general director of the Dr. Guislain Museum. "The Dr. Guislain 'Breaking the Chains of Stigma' Award recognizes exceptional people whose work helps to reduce the stigma that exists about mental illness."

An independent selection committee, comprised of international advocates and renowned authorities in the field of mental health, selects the Award winner. The Dr. Guislain "Breaking the Chains of Stigma" Award winner will be honored at a ceremony on World Mental Health Day, 10 October, 2017, in Ghent, Belgium.

Chantharavady Choulamany, MD was selected as the 2016 Dr. Guislain "Breaking the Chains of Stigma" Award recipient for her impact on the quality of life for individuals living with mental illness in Lao People's Democratic Republic. As one of two qualified psychiatrists in a country that has more than 6 million people, Dr. Choulamany has dedicated her life to increasing access to mental health services and developing education programs to treat and improve understanding of mental illness. She works with all levels of government, advocating for better treatment services and more trained health professionals, as well as additional funding to support mental health programs.

"At Janssen, we are deeply committed to advocating for people with mental illness," said Husseini K. Manji, MD, Global Therapeutic Area Head, Neuroscience, Janssen Research & Development, LLC. "We are working with the global mental health community to bring about change so that no one who suffers from a brain disorder is treated differently. This Award importantly recognizes people around the world who are making a difference to break down stigma."

Janssen has an ongoing commitment to advancing neuroscience research, a legacy which dates back to the work of Dr. Paul Janssen (1926-2003). "Dr. Paul" is known as one of the 20th century's most gifted and passionate physicians and pharmaceutical researchers. To honor his legacy, Janssen supports the mental health community and various advocacy organizations and projects. In 2011, the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson launched Healthy Minds, a comprehensive initiative that aims to encourage collaboration among biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and public-sector partners to accelerate the discovery of new therapeutic solutions for diseases and disorders of the brain.

About the Dr. Guislain "Breaking the Chains of Stigma" Award

Individuals, organizations or projects from around the world that have made an exceptional contribution in dealing with, or promoting the awareness of, mental health care are eligible* to receive the Dr. Guislain "Breaking the Chains of Stigma" Award. The Award is given to an individual(s), organization or project that:

  • has made an exceptional contribution to mental health care in the broadest sense on a cultural and/or social level;
  • has provided a genuine contribution to decreasing stigma around mental health conditions;
  • has promoted attention for mental health care;
  • and, has done all this with passion, creativity and innovation.

The Dr. Guislain "Breaking the Chains of Stigma" Award honors Dr. Joseph Guislain (1797-1860), a driven activist for patients with mental illness and the first Belgian psychiatrist to provide scientifically based treatment for these individuals. As a passionate advocate for those with mental illness, Dr. Guislain worked tirelessly to stand up for the rights of patients and to help improve their social position. The Dr. Guislain Museum and Janssen jointly sponsor the Award, with funding provided by Janssen. Both organizations have a rich heritage and long-standing involvement in the field of mental illness research, treatment and education.

About The Dr. Guislain Museum

The Dr. Guislain Museum was founded in 1986 in Ghent, Belgium, with both permanent exhibitions addressing the history of psychiatry and outsider art, and a series of changing thematic exhibitions. The Museum features an array of psychiatric photographs, two centuries of comprehensive archives and an extensive library chronicling the history of psychiatry. Comprehensively, the Museum seeks to educate the public and rectify the misunderstandings and prejudice associated with treatment for mental illness. The Dr. Guislain Museum attracts 72,000 visitors each year.

*Employees and officers of Johnson & Johnson, Janssen Research & Development, LLC, and their respective affiliates, subsidiaries, The Dr. Guislain Museum, any promotional agencies and members of the immediate family or household of each, are not eligible to participate in the Dr. Guislain Award as nominators, Award candidates or judges. Immediate family member is defined as a parent, sibling or any person residing in the same household as employee.

Patrick Allegaert
Dr. Guislain Museum
+32 9 216 35 95
Yoon Hee Lamot
Dr. Guislain Museum
+32 9 216 35 36
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